How can I know and trust the integrity of this man?
anonymous Asks ...
Hi Penny, I am in a new relationship, I met him online on a site just for my own cultural background (same nationality). I have chemistry with this man at every level physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually. It felt overwhelming when I met him; I haven't been intimate sexually wt anyone, for 3 years since my ex fiance (just dated and making out) as I am waiting for someone special, so I know my hormones are at play here but I feel like we really think alike, so he has told me he loves me and first time EVER I have said it to him and I mean it. I am not a stupid girl I waited till 35 to lose my virginity with someone who became my fiance, I take these things so seriously, I know i don't know everything about this new guy and that he is not perfect; neither am I. I want to trust and be open, he wants to get intimate physically and says it's been 4 months for him and he is frustrated but that I satisfy him in every way, we are together, we are exclusive, he wants a long term serious thing wt me, he also says he didnt' think he 'd get married or want to, but with me he would. now he said these things when I've not gone over to his place for this first month of relationship and besides kissing we haven't done anything yet. I told him, I don't want to start something that will leave him frustrated at his place if I am not ready for it, and I want to be comfortable and get to know him better; I told him I need to be in a serious relationship and he says we are together meaning he wants to be with me long term. I have issues trusting and I really want to be with him sexually but I told him I feel pressured, and I have turned him down to go over to his place several times, he still comes around but he has expressed sexual frustration and he doesn't understand what the need is to wait and that I should ask him anything to know him, but the thing is I dont' want to listen to his words, I want to see his actions. Now he does what he says, when he says he 'll call he does, when he is wrong he says sorry, when he does something wrong he immediatly corrects himself, he goes out of his way to pick me up and make me feel comfortable when we go out, on his public career profiles a person describes him as a person with integrity people should hire as he does what he says, he is always on time etc. this is the person I am falling in love with, but he has said things that were a bit heavy to take in. when he was sexually frustarted he asked me if he was ok if he pleasured himself and I said that's fine then he said he has to think about his ex girl friend to get off, and I was shocked he said he hasn't been with me and maybe that's fresh in his memory, I got mad and told him well then just go wt her and he says he doesn't want to (mind you i think she might have broken up with him). I told him that he is trying to pressure me to have sex sooner by saying that, and I don't believe him, and for him to find someone he hasnt dated to fantasize about, he thinks that can addictive and not healthy, anyway I told him, I don't like being pressured, I know he wants to be with me badly, I want it maybe more than him, but I need to be ready and I won't do it just cause he wants it or to keep a guy;he said he'll find another way to get off, and I told him I don't mean outside the relationshp because he is saying I am his gf now, though when asked by a new couple we met publicly he didn't say anything (it has been only a month and a week we see each other and he was away almost 2 weeks in europe visiting family), so I wasn't expecting him to say anything but now he says he tells people he is out with his gf (me). I want him to say to others in public so I know I can trust him and he is not playing me. Also we are from a repressive regime, and he was in army training there over 20 years ago and very bad experience for him; he got arrested he says and was in jail a few months because he beat up an officer who was a bully and was mistreating him or others; he says that was really hard, it was hard for me to hear he was arrested, but then again if I was in his shoes and he is a man of integrity I can see how an unjust situation 'd lead him to that; also he was there 2 years with no water or electricity. Does this mean he is violent or a criminal? nothing else after this as far as I know in that country nor outside that country in north america. He has also told me that he was working on a project as an electrician at a house one time and saw a guy escape from a house the cops came around and asked if he saw anyone, in the moment he didn't say he did, but then he says they told him he was a rapist, and asked for his tools to shut the door to his front door so he 'd not or could not come back there to hide, he says he saw a great expensive camera there; his colleague was there too, he said to him this guy is a rapist, he is not coming back and so he took the camera. Again I told him I am not sure about what he told me. I asked him if he has done anything like that after and he said come on, of course not. I can see in that situation a criminal's stuff really what's the harm in taking it, but he himself says now that he was young and he didn't have to tell me this but he is because he is comfortable with me, but may be things he feels are not things he is proud of necessarily either and wants to see if I accept him despite his past/faults. My concern is the present though. He seems now like the type who doesn't want to hurt a fly, and in 20 years he has read spritual texts, and seems to have grown a lot as a person, so I am conflicted about his integrity and if I should let him close to me; we are very attracted to each other and I want to but not unless I know I can trust him 100% and I told him that; he had said to me he 'd wait for me 3, 6mnths whatever it takes one day but he was more frustrated a week later , because I haven't given him a timeline just said I need to be comfortable. I have moments where I can't imagine my life without him, and then try to be logical, and smart, so I think going towards full physical intimacy in stages now might be a good compromise but I am then worried from past experience how far is too far, he may then completely stop pursuing the relationship if he feels teased, he is already saying the way you kissed me i though we'd go to my place after. I am so conflicted and confused, please help.
Penny Bell Says ...
Oh my gosh, from what you are saying, it sounds like you are in such a dilemma over this guy! Your thinking is going around in circles – yeah, he’s the one, no, he does this and this, but he’s good in this way, but hang on, what about this and this....you must be exhausted from thinking about this with such intensity and arriving at no distinct solution, decision or line of action!
What I’m wondering is, what is your gut saying to you? What you’re telling me is what your head is saying, but what’s your feeling deep down? You have given me some clues, actually – particularly in the way you tell me that for all intents and purposes this guy is the real deal, that he has a reputation for having integrity, but there’s this other side of him that you don’t feel comfortable about.
It might be worth exploring that part of you that isn’t feeling comfortable. Further, think about why you are pushing that part of you aside in order to convince yourself that this relationship is on the up and up – what would it be like for you to walk away from this guy? What would you lose if you did? And is that what’s keeping you in the relationship?
And how do you feel while you are in this relationship, and around this guy? I hear you saying you feel attracted to him, but at the same time you feel cornered, pushed, trapped, pressured, untrusting, conflicted, confused, played, and betrayed! What are you doing with these feelings? Try sitting with them for a while, rather than pushing them down, and see what it is they are saying to you!
Have you thought of taking your dilemma to therapy? Nutting this out with a therapist could really help you to understand yourself in the context of the relationship and arrive at a place where you can see clearly what your options are. You may discover that the problem is all yours – that you need to learn to trust more – or that the problem is all his and you are trying not to acknowledge this. A third perspective could be that, as you said, neither of you is perfect, and that you need to find some common ground for negotiation and compromise for how this relationship is carried out. You could do this with the help of a relationship counsellor whom you would see together.